BANGKOK, 2 February 2014, – Statements were released by the Thai Journalists Association (TJA) and the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT) yesterday, concerning the safety of journalists and reporters as the armbands and headbands given to them are similar to those of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) guards.
The President of the TJA, Pradit Ruangdit, reiterated that for the past few days there have been several reports from field journalists and reporters that armbands and headbands belonging to PDRC guards are very much like those given by the TJA to both domestic and international journalists.
Armbands for PDRC guards located at the Ladprao rally site are the same color but the lettering is in black. It still creates confusion, which may compromise field journalists’ safety. Therefore, the TJA has contacted the PDRC about the matter and requested that appropriate changes be made. The TJA also warns all field journalists to take precautions and leave the area immediately if the situation turns violent.
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT) also released a statement on its website regarding the same matter. It condemns the use of such armbands and headbands by non journalists as it makes the situation more dangerous for journalists. “The FCCT calls on all sides in this conflict to ensure the safety of journalists working on the ground”
The FCCT condemns the use by non journalists of light green armbands and headbands that can easily be confused with those armbands given out by the TJA. The FCCT believes that this use makes it even more dangerous for journalists working legitimately in Thailand in what is already a risky situation.